School defibrillator saves Gray's Creek High coach's life
Posted April 10
Hope Mills, N.C. — The staff at a Cumberland County high school recently passed a life-and-death test.
David Lovette, a physical education teacher and football coach at Gray's Creek High School in Hope Mills, suffered a heart attack at school on March 25.
"I just did my usual hello, good morning type stuff," Lovette said recently while recuperating at home. "Next thing I know, I was on the floor. That's what they tell me, anyway."
The faculty and staff immediately sprang into action, performing CPR and using an automated external defibrillator at the school to shock Lovette's heart.
"We activated the defibrillator (but) still didn't have a heartbeat," Assistant Principal Lisa Stewart said. "We continued to use compressions until the firemen got here from Cotton Fire Department."
There is no law requiring North Carolina schools to have defibrillators on campus, but Cumberland County Schools invested $140,000 to put two in each high school and one in each middle school.
Lovette said he and other teachers have trained on the defibrillator each summer for the past few years. They even sang "Stayin' Alive" as they practiced CPR, he said.
"They did a good job," he said. "They did CPR on me, they hooked the defibrillator up on me, and they saved my life. So, I owe them a lot."
A day after leaving the hospital, the coach visited his team at school. The students went crazy, and hundreds signed a banner that now hangs over his fireplace.
"(It) let's me know I'm loved, I guess," he said.
A fund has been started at Gray's Creek High to help Lovette and his family with their hospital bills.